Journal of mission trip in VN – Summer 2010 – Night of Welcoming!
Words from Fr. Martino (Chú Thông) – These writtings are from the Participants and posted UN-editied as I allow their feelings flow! This one is written by Tri – a Electrical Engineering from Canada!
– I met the welcoming team at the airport: Thao (chu Thong’s niece), a PhD of education, a policeman, Thanh, Tram and Hoa. “Chu Thong” arrived at Tan Son Nhat around 10:45pm. We stopped by the hotel, the Thanh Long Tan Hotel, near cho*. Ben Thanh. Below are the few things we did right after his landing. We spent most of the time outside, around the area to learn about the “characteristics” of the corner:
- “An khuya”, late supper, at a Singapore restaurent, The Lion… The food: “chao ech”, frog porride, not bad at all. The place is pretty clean, the interior design is simple, good taste, the assembly is okido.
- After the late supper, chu Thong decide to “drive” Hoa and me around the corner to learn about the strategic environment of the hotel.
- We met, an old acquaintance of chu Thong, a couple from the north of Vietnam, they sell “trung vit lon” to provide the needs of their 2 adorable daughters, whom stay with their grand-parents in the north. Those 2 girls are capable of taking care of themselves, while archieving great success at school in the same time. Their father said that their grand-parents are willing to take all the household caring for the girls, but he saw that would make the girls less responsible for their lives, so he decided that the girls should cook and wash their own clothes. I wonder why and how a man of his status could see and dare to give such an insightful education for his daughters ? And why so many parents in the US or CAN, with more than adundance, failed to acquire such vision and make such moves for the future of their children. Every year, the couple has to travel 2 days + 2 nights, from Saigon to the north, sitting with their knees up to their chin, on a fully packed autocar to visite their precious little girls in the north on “Tet” event. Such sacrifice on the part of these parents and such blowing-off-your-hairs reception on the part of these kids tell me so much about the real resiliency and courage of people in Vietnam, … it is LIVE.
- They also talked about the human traficking situation in the north. Most of the young girls of the north are sold to China. Poor people, from suburb regions, are deceived by the false promises of good jobs from “hookers”. They got their prey on the truck and the lives of their victims are stripped from them. Most of victims are forced to walk hundreds kilometers in the woods to cross the border China-Vietnam, and then sold like slaves of ancient time. They may be exchanged from different owners, just like merchandises. Most of the time, the victim has to work like animals and satisfy all the sexual desires of the master. I like the analogy of chu Thong about the situation: it is like “vuot bien” people, they know the danger, but because of the precarity of the situation, they take the risk. 30 years after the “ending” of the war, people are still risking their lives for a small chance of a better tomorrow. But, what is even more troubling is some victims would return back to Vietnam to become the new “hunters” on their own kind.
- A few step around the corner of the park to recognize that there are a lot of “sexual promotions”: pimps, street girls, hookers…are always available, their “radar” are attentive at your slightest signals (just slow down your foot steps + make your “searching manners” and they will approach you !!!).
- Visiting a “Tay ba-lo” night club, “The Buffalo”, the oldest (or second oldest) night club in Pham Ngu Lao. Kind of “binh dan” club, the music is bad, like always in Vietnam I guess. My first club in Vietnam is Yasaka in Nhatrang, a better design, upper class people, but the music has the same fate. Well, a few young go-go-girls, their age si about students, are floating around, at that time, over midnight, the rythm was quite slowed down. Birds are already in their “nest”.